First Direct, M&S Bank and Nationwide voted best financial brands in customer poll while 'big' banks don't make the top 100
First Direct, M&S Bank and Nationwide have all ranked highly in a comprehensive new customer survey, while giants such as Barclays, Lloyds and Santander didn’t even make the top 100 cut.
According to a 'customer experience excellence' survey from research firm Nunwood, which looked at 260 brands by talking to 7,500 customers, internet and telephone bank First Direct, relatively new player M&S Bank and Nationwide Building Society were all in the top 50.
In fact, First Direct – which is owned by HSBC - was a commendable third in the overall list, beaten only by retailer John Lewis and television shopping channel QVC.
Top three: First Direct, M&S; Bank and Nationwide were the highest ranking financial firms according to a recent in-depth survey
M&S Bank – part-owned by HSBC - which only started offering current accounts and opening in-store branches last year, came 23rd in the list, while Nationwide Building Society were placed 26th.
Other financial brands to make it in the top 100 include Green Flag, Skipton Building Society and the RAC.
Interestingly, none of the big banks made it into the top 100 list. Nunwood do not release the details on how far down list they came.
Nationwide, which has 15 million members and 700 branches, was one of the big winners in the last 12 months climbing 26 places in the poll.
BEST FINANCIAL BRANDS
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Jenny Groves, director of customer experience at Nationwide, said: ‘We are delighted to be recognised as the best major high street financial retailer for customer experience.
‘Nationwide strives to deliver an exceptional and uncomplicated service that sets us apart from our competitors. Our status as a mutual helped us achieve this result as we put the customer at the heart of everything we do.’
The survey is based on responses from feedback of actual customers and Nunwood says it is not based on simply brand perception.
The research was conducted online and respondents could only comment on brands which they have used in the last six months.
Customers were asked questions about time and effort, expectations, resolution, integrity and empathy.
Banks and building societies have been battling it out for current account customers after new rules came in with the aim to make it easier to switch.
But despite the new changes, statistics earlier this week from market research firm TNS found there hasn’t been a dramatic rise in switchers in recent months.
It found the traditional banking names have lost more customers through switching than they gained, with Santander, Nationwide and Halifax making net gains of 12 per cent, 6 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
More than half of the customers gained by these banks came from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and TSB and NatWest.
GET PAID £100 TO MOVE BANKS - WHO OFFERS THE BEST DEALS?
If you're unhappy with your bank and thinking of switching there are plenty of incentives to move.This is Money's five of the best current accounts is a regularly updated guide to where the best offers are.
Top deals include Halifax's Reward Account promising new customers £100 to switch and £5 per month if they stay in credit.
First Direct pays
£100 to new customers who switch to its First Account. On top of that,
the bank is so confident in its customer service that it will give you a
further £100 if you chose to close the account within the first 12
Santander's 123 current account, on the other hand, pays interest on in-credit balances - 1 per cent on balances between £1,000 and £2,000, 2 per cent between £2,000 and £3,000 and 3 per cent on balances between £3,000 and £20,000.
Tailoring your current account to reflect your spending habits could also help you to save or make money.
For example, if you often shop at M&S, you could be taking advantage of vouchers and points - M&S current account customers earn
one point for every £1 spent at M&S. Tesco and Sainsbury's Banks also offer discounts and vouchers for shoppers.
Alternatively, if you often travel abroad, switching to Norwich and Peterborough Building Society's Gold Classic Account would mean you can use your debit card or withdraw money from an ATM overseas for free.
you often find yourself overdrawn, don't accept excessive charges and
fees from your bank. Instead, look for another provider that offers a
free overdraft facility. Citibank and First Direct currently offer the best deals in the market. Read This is Money's overdraft guide for more information.
For those searching for a no-frills service, check out This is Money's best basic bank accounts guide, which will help you to avoid charges or fees completely.
- Read our switching banks guide for step-by step advice on switching your current account.
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